The number one excuse I get from men in the gym about why they are not in good shape is that they are “getting old.”
Ironically, most of the guys giving me this excuse haven’t even hit forty yet.
Just recently, I had a client of mine hit a 1RM back squat of 235 lbs and a deadlift at 285 lbs—this coming just two weeks before his 59th birthday!
This client started with me just five years ago, almost thirty pounds lighter, and never having weight trained before in his life.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean that you put on 30 lbs of belly fat and throw your back out every time you bend down to tie your shoes.
What it does mean is that you can’t get away with being lazy like you did in your teens and twenties.
It takes being smarter about your workouts and making sure you warm up properly—ensuring that you’re sweating before you even touch a weight.
It takes doing mobility drills, so that you can squat and deadlift without rounding your back and bench press without blowing out a rotator cuff.
It takes great eating habits, which means a whole food diet with plenty of veggies and lots of clean protein, good carbs, and healthy fats.
It takes drinking more water and less alcohol.
Go ask the next beautiful woman you come across which she prefers better, the six pack in your fridge or the one under your shirt—I guarantee she’ll pick the latter.
At age 45, Hugh Jackman, star of X-MEN and Wolverine, has gotten bigger, leaner, and stronger with each film.
Some of the greatest athletes of all time have played well into their thirties.
Kobe Bryant is about to turn 36 years old, and has been playing professional basketball since 1996.
Ray Lewis, possibly the greatest linebacker of all time, played until the age of 38.
Michael Jordan became the oldest player ever to score 40 points in a game and average over 20 points per game at the age of 40.
I know what you’re saying, “Those guys are professionals; they get paid to stay in great shape—that’s their life!”
If these guys can withstand the pounding and abuse of multiple professional sports seasons well into their late thirties, you can make it to the gym and strength train for just 3 days per week.
You can get to a football field on the weekends and run some sprints.
You can take a long walk on off days and do some mobility work.
You CAN do it.
If you make the CHOICE not to, that’s perfectly fine— just please don’t blame it on your age.
Call it like it is:
You are fat and out of shape because you are lazy.
You’d rather drink a beer after work than get to the gym.
You’d rather eat out with your friends than prepare your own meals.
You’d rather stay up at night watching Fallon than get 8 hours of sleep.
You’d rather go for an easy jog than run back to back hundred meter sprints until you are on the verge of throwing up.
You’d rather try the latest workout video that you can do from the comfort of your living room, in thirty minutes or less, than get to a gym and hit the iron like a savage for a solid hour.
All of that is fine.
Just please don’t kid yourself and say it’s because you are old.
Because at the gym right now is probably someone 10 years your senior, warming up with your one rep max, at half your body fat percentage.